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2023 Thomas Cup: Race Report & Results

Presented to Ranelagh Harriers in 1891 by Sidney ‘Sid’ Thomas, after winning said article in a 10 mile race against EW Parry of Salford Harriers the year before; the Thomas Cup has been vied for, apart from a hiatus due to two world wars and a pandemic, by many a Ranelagh Harrier across the decades.

And indeed, there were still many a Ranelagh Harrier who gathered at the clubhouse on Saturday 2 September, in the 4th year of this 2020s decade, eager to mark the start of our 143rd season by competing for the Thomas Cup. All in all, 52 runners turned up, along with almost half as many marshals, volunteers and organisers.

Whilst modern technology had done away with the need for any on-the-spot working out of handicaps – it didn’t stop the cries of derision (Dave Lawley), the sighs of resignation (Jonny Smith), or the howls of disbelief (numerous) at the times assigned by our all-seeing, all-knowing handicapper The Right Honourable Bruce McLaren.

Such was his power to astound (confound?) that a certain member (Stephen Aikin) was moved to stare fixedly at the starting sheets for well on 10 minutes; perhaps hoping that a mistake had been made.

At 1pm, the rabble were roused to move to Petersham Gate for the traditional club photo. Thereafter all moved onwards and upwards to the start by the manhole at Sidmouth Woods, as the marshals took to their various points. The breadth of the field meant that Jonny, as scratch, started approx. 26 mins from the first runner, the graceful Katrina Roche of Inter 3.

The course follows the mob match route, taking in the blessed downhill of Queen’s Ride, before grinding upwards round the back of the ballet school, then down the side of Pen Ponds, followed by the turn at the newly cleared Pat’s Mound, culminating painfully up and round Sidmouth Woods.

A sobering route; made that little bit more challenging by the warm weather and the rock hard terrain. Mercifully for the athletes, there was only the one lap to complete.

Some 20 minutes after Jonny had set off, anticipation was high as to who would crest the rise first; would it be newbie Peter Cook, who’d impressed (stunned?) the alphas of Adv 1 with his pace and speed? Would it be Jonny himself, taking full advantage of the non-participation of Mr Win Everything Marc Leyshon, to ensure he was not second (again)?

Handicaps being what they are, it was likely that it would be neither but as with all things Ranelagh, all would be made clear in due course. And so it was; to a huge cheer from all waiting at the finish line, moving elegantly but determinedly up the rise was the lovely Katrina; who came through in 45 mins to take the Thomas Cup. A fabulous effort and a brilliant run.

The remaining athletes came across swiftly, one after the other, some seconds after the other, providing a fitting challenge for the very helpful younger number takers: Maisy Fowler, Anna and Emily Minchella and Isla Shaw.

Making it a wonderful 1-2-3 for the ladies, Cecily Day took 2nd with a strong performance (24:32), whilst Colette Doran (35:07) placed 3rd. The thorn after the roses was the resolute Gordon Whitson (30:10), followed by the ever improving Ruth Gledhill (34:35) to make our top 5 finishers.

The fastest 3 men were Peter Cook (21:04), Jonny Smith (21:46) and David Ready (22:30), whilst the fastest 3 ladies were Nicola Douglas (24:22), Cecily Day (24:32) and Amelie Hunton (28:10). Well done to all the runners who participated.

After a quick breather, everyone trooped back to the clubhouse for the Thomas Cup prize-giving, as well as the summer (cross-country) trophy presentation. A huge thank you to all the marshals, volunteers and organisers; with an extra big shout out to Rebecca Bissell, Gavin Hillhouse and the BBQ setup crew (Jarryd Hillhouse, Jo Marshal, Tony Clough and many others) for the fabulous spread put on for all to enjoy.

In closing, a look back to 2001 as Jim Forrest reported on the Thomas Cup of the 121st season; with much of it still resonating, as well as providing a reasonable future excuse for some of us:

We had a glorious day for the Opening Run this year, not too hot, perfect for running – quite similar to my first Thomas Cup 39 years ago. Having contributed last winter to the club’s efforts by running through various swamps in unbelievably appalling times, I was rewarded by a very pleasant handicap allocation this time (all this without any secret payments either!).

My part of the start area was like a dream, really – not since university days have I been surrounded by so many beautiful women in such a state of undress. Geared up by all this excitement, I probably ran a little too purposefully in the first mile. I had forgotten that infernal steep hill that the club has kindly inserted at Isabella and was definitely on zero momentum for large parts of it.

It was an immense relief to finish in the end and get in the medals just before the scratch man came bounding through. A sobering thought that I shall have to do the darned circuit twice on October 6th in the Orion Mob Match. My time was even more sobering, being my slowest ever, and needs some explanation to the readers.

The answer as I see it is that the Earth (the section that I am running on, anyway) is expanding at about 4% per year. This explains the apparent deterioration in my performances perfectly.



💙 Finishing Order:
💛 Speed Order:
💙 Fastest 5:


Thomas Cup 2023 Finishing Order

PositionNameFinished @Started @Race Time
1Katrina Roche0:45:000:45:00
2Cecily Day0:46:420:22:100:24:32
3Colette Doran0:46:570:11:500:35:07
4Gordon Whitson0:47:000:16:500:30:10
5Ruth Gledhill0:47:050:12:300:34:35
6Peter Cook (Guest)0:47:140:26:100:21:04
7Jackie Dunkley0:47:150:05:400:41:35
8Bob Beatson0:47:170:10:300:36:47
9Dave Glanville0:47:190:14:300:32:49
10Marcus Atkins0:47:240:16:100:31:14
11Clare Fowler0:47:290:19:100:28:19
12Amelie Hunton (Guest)0:47:300:19:200:28:10
13Jack Spence (Guest)0:47:310:19:200:28:11
14Matt Hirschler0:47:350:24:200:23:15
15Clare Day0:47:390:14:500:32:49
16Wiebke Kortum0:47:400:18:300:29:10
17Nicola Douglas0:47:420:23:200:24:22
18James Riley0:47:470:25:000:22:47
19Sally Bamford0:47:490:13:300:34:19
20Simon Taylor (Guest)0:47:560:16:200:31:36
21Greg Smith (Guest)0:47:570:16:500:31:07
22Anna Reichwald (Guest)0:47:580:12:300:35:28
23Jeremy Day0:47:590:18:200:29:39
24David Ready0:48:000:25:300:22:30
25Sergio Stillacci0:48:040:22:500:25:14
26Jonathan Smith0:48:060:26:200:21:46
27Aoife Kilpatrick0:48:150:17:300:30:45
28Maia Rushby0:48:170:17:400:30:37
29Paula Maguire0:48:190:11:100:37:09
30Amrut Sharma0:48:220:19:300:28:52
31Stephen Hird (Guest)0:48:260:22:000:26:26
32John Shaw0:48:270:22:300:25:57
33Trevor Maguire0:48:340:19:000:29:34
34James Russell0:48:360:19:000:29:36
35Ellie Lawley0:48:380:09:000:39:38
36Deborah Blakemore0:48:490:00:500:47:59
37Victoria Martin (Guest)0:48:550:17:500:31:05
38David Wright0:48:590:21:500:27:09
39Stephen Aikin0:49:090:20:100:28:59
40Ted Mockett0:49:130:25:000:24:13
41Andrew Houlding (Guest)0:49:140:18:200:30:54
42Rachel Revett0:49:150:16:400:32:35
43Shaun Griffith0:49:250:24:100:25:15
44Sara Simon (Guest)0:49:350:06:100:43:25
45Philip Roberts0:49:360:17:300:32:06
46David Lawley0:49:400:26:100:23:30
47David Kew0:50:050:14:300:35:35
48Philip Andrews0:50:360:20:300:30:06
49Bronwen Northmore0:50:400:03:500:46:50
50Stephen Hurton0:50:420:20:400:30:02
51Carol Aikin0:52:140:14:500:37:24
52Clive Naish0:52:390:06:000:46:39

Thomas Cup 2023 Speed Order

PositionNameRace TimePositionNameRace TimePositionNameRace Time
1Peter Cook0:21:0419Stephen Aikin0:28:5937Clare Day0:32:49
2Jonathan Smith0:21:4620Wiebke Kortum0:29:1038Sally Bamford0:34:19
3David Ready0:22:3021Trevor Maguire0:29:3439Ruth Gledhill0:34:35
4James Riley0:22:4722James Russell0:29:3640Colette Doran0:35:07
5Matt Hirschler0:23:1523Jeremy Day0:29:3941Anna Reichwald0:35:28
6David Lawley0:23:3024Stephen Hurton0:30:0242David Kew0:35:35
7Ted Mockett0:24:1325Philip Andrews0:30:0643Bob Beatson0:36:47
8Nicola Douglas0:24:2226Gordon Whitson0:30:1044Paula Maguire0:37:09
9Cecily Day0:24:3227Maia Rushby0:30:3745Carol Aikin0:37:24
10Sergio Stillacci0:25:1428Aoife Kilpatrick0:30:4546Ellie Lawley0:39:38
11Shaun Griffith0:25:1529Andrew Houlding0:30:5447Jackie Dunkley0:41:35
12John Shaw0:25:5730Victoria Martin0:31:0548Sara Simon0:43:25
13Stephen Hird0:26:2631Greg Smith0:31:0749Katrina Roche0:45:00
14David Wright0:27:0932Marcus Atkins0:31:1450Clive Naish0:46:39
15Amelie Hunton0:28:1033Simon Taylor0:31:3651Bronwen Northmore0:46:50
16Jack Spence0:28:1134Philip Roberts0:32:0652Deborah Blakemore0:47:59
17Clare Fowler0:28:1935Rachel Revett0:32:35
18Amrut Sharma0:28:5236Dave Glanville0:32:49

Thomas Cup 2023 Fastest 5

Fastest 5 LadiesNameRace TimeGuest ?
1Nicola Douglas0:24:22
2Cecily Day0:24:32
3Amelie Hunton0:28:10Yes
4Clare Fowler0:28:19
5Wiebke Kortum0:29:10
Fastest 5 MenNameRace TimeGuest ?
1Peter Cook0:21:04Yes
2Jonathan Smith0:21:46
3David Ready0:22:30
4James Riley0:22:47
5Matt Hirschler0:23:15

june, 2024

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Surrey cross country league standings

LeagueTeam PositionFull details
Ladies Div 17/15league table
Men Div 18/9league table
Ladies Div U159/16league table
Men Div U15/U1716/18league table